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What causes neck pain?

Neck pain is commonly caused by repetitive or prolonged activities, or trauma such as car accidents and sports injuries. It results from:

  • inflammation
  • strains to muscles and tendons
  • sprains to ligaments, joints or intervertebral discs of your cervical spine
  • injuries to the nerves in your neck

 

Headache and Neck Pain Clinic - Cervical Spine MRI

 

Many muscles that attach to your neck also attach to your shoulders and upper back, so neck pain or dysfunction can cause problems in your shoulders or back. Alternatively, back or shoulder pain and dysfunction can cause problems in your neck.

Likewise, low back pain and dysfunction, as well as hip pain and dysfunction can also cause neck pain because they are functionally and neurally connected. They depend on each other for movement, balance and posture. Reflexes from your central nervous system control your neck muscles to automatically keep your head upright, regardless of what’s happening anywhere else in your body.

Headache and Neck Pain Clinic - Neck Pain

What are the signs and symptoms of neck pain?

People who suffer neck pain can also suffer:

  • Neck stiffness and tightness
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Restricted head and neck movement (commonly turning left or right)
  • Altered posture
  • Poor balance and co-ordination (proprioception)
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain or restricted movement
  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain radiating into the arm
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness
  • Difficulty using the hand

Chronic neck pain (3 months or more) is associated with increased sensitivity to painful stimuli anywhere on your body, and no longer just your neck. This is caused by failure of your brain’s normal pain-inhibiting mechanisms and is known as central sensitisation. Central sensitisation involves increased activity of your immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, and commonly causes poor sleep that perpetuates hypersensitivity.

Headache and Neck Pain Clinic - Increased sensitisation - poor sleep
Headache and Neck Pain Clinic - Increased sensitisation - how to treat neck pain

How do you treat neck pain?

Early treatment increases your likelihood of a speedy and complete recovery. Research shows that manual treatments and prescribed exercises reduce neck pain, improve movement and balance, and increase quality of life. If the cause of your neck pain is from your shoulders, upper back, lower back or hips then these areas also need to be treated.

Evidence-based natural medicine can help to normalise your immune and endocrine functions, and improve sleep, especially if your neck pain has become chronic.

So book online with us or call The Headache and Neck Pain Clinic today to make an appointment.

The Headache And Neck Pain Clinic